Wakefield Museums hold over 120,000 historic objects that have been acquired on behalf of those who live, work in or visit the Wakefield district.
Many of the objects are on display at our museum venues, but we can't display everything at once! This new series of blog posts wil highlight some of the collections, both on display and off, by showing a photograph and some information about the object.
We'd love to know your thoughts about the objects featured in this series so if you have a memory linked to an object or if you can add some more background information about them please do leave a comment for us.
Our first object is the Betamax video recorder
A local resident donated this video recorder to the museum service in November 2006. It will forever be remembered for losing the video ‘format’ wars in the 1980s.Video has revolutionised how we watch television. The ability to record has meant that we can now choose when and how often we want to watch a television programme. More recently the successor to video, digital TV allows viewers even more options to watch programmes when it suits us.
VHS won because video recorders were very expensive to buy (over £1000 in today’s money) so many homes rented a machine instead of risking buying one. VHS ones were easier to get and there was also a larger choice of VHS movies to rent at video shops.By the late 1980s, more than 80% of households with a video recorder owned a VHS machine, and in 1988, Sony started to make VHS themselves.
To explore more of the museums' collections visit: Wakefield Museums Collections